Advertisement

Gene Synthesis pp 273-283 | Cite as

The Build-a-Genome Course

  • Eric M. Cooper
  • Helöise Müller
  • Srinivasan Chandrasegaran
  • Joel S. Bader
  • Jef D. Boeke
Protocol
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 852)

Abstract

Build-a-Genome is an intensive laboratory course at Johns Hopkins University that introduces undergraduates to the burgeoning field of synthetic biology. In addition to lectures that provide a comprehensive overview of the field, the course contains a unique laboratory component in which the students contribute to an actual, ongoing project to construct the first synthetic eukaryotic cell, a yeast cell composed of man-made parts. In doing so, the students acquire basic molecular biology skills and gain a truly “graduate student-like experience” in which they take ownership of their projects, troubleshoot their own experiments, present at frequent laboratory meetings, and are given 24-h access to the laboratory, albeit with all the guidance they will need to complete their projects during the semester. In this chapter, we describe the organization of the course and provide advice for anyone interested in starting a similar course at their own institution.

Key words

Build-a-Genome Undergraduate course Synthetic biology Synthetic yeast CloneQC GeneDesign 

References

  1. 1.
    Dymond JS, Scheifele LZ, Richardson S, Lee P, Chandrasegaran S, Bader JS, Boeke JD (2009) Teaching synthetic biology, bioinformatics and engineering to undergraduates: the interdisciplinary Build-a-Genome course. Genetics, 1, 13–21.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Dymond JS, Richardson SM, Coombes CE, Muller H, Annaluru N, Blake WJ, Schwerzmann JW, Dai J, Lindstrom DL, Boeke AC, Gottschling D, Chandrasegaran S, Bader JS, Boeke JD (2011) Synthetic chromosome arms function in yeast and generate phenotypic diversity by design. Nature, 477, 471–6.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Annaluru A, Muller H, Ramalingam S, Kandavelou K, London V, Richardson SM, Dymond JS, Cooper EM, Bader JS, Boeke JD, Chandrasegaran S (2011) Assembling DNA Fragments by USER Fusion, Methods in Molecular Biology (this volume).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Muller H, Narayana Annalur N, Schwerzmann JW, Richardson SM, Dymond JS, Cooper EM, Bader JS, Boeke JD, Chandrasegaran S (2011) Assembling large DNA segments in yeast Methods in Molecular Biology (this volume).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Higgins DG, Thompson JD, Gibson TJ (1996) Using CLUSTAL for multiple sequence ­alignments. Methods in Enzymology, 266, 383–402.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Richardson SM, Nunley PW, Yarrington RM, Boeke JD, Bader JS (2010) GeneDesign 3.0 is an updated synthetic biology toolkit. Nucl. Acids Res. 9, 2603–06.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Lee PA, Dymond JS, Scheifele LZ, Richardson SM, Foelber KJ, Boeke JD, Bader JS (2010) CLONEQC: lightweight sequence verification for synthetic biology. Nucl. Acids Res. 8, 2617–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Sceince+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric M. Cooper
    • 1
  • Helöise Müller
  • Srinivasan Chandrasegaran
    • 2
  • Joel S. Bader
    • 1
    • 3
  • Jef D. Boeke
    • 4
  1. 1.High Throughput Biology CenterJohns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Department of Environmental Health SciencesJohns Hopkins University School of Public HealthBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.Whiting School of EngineeringJohns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA
  4. 4.Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, High Throughput Biology CenterJohns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA

Personalised recommendations